Only Hope

Today I wore a mask. I pretended that I loved Guy, and he believed me. Then I pretended I didn't love Guy, and Robin believed me. Which was the mask?

Today I smiled sweetly at Guy, and he didn't know how much of that smile was a lie. Today Robin saw the smile, and didn't know how much of it was truth. Neither of them is really interested in truth, I think. They have created the person they want me to be in their minds, and nothing and nobody will convince them that I am someone else.

Guy ignores the fact that I see Robin Hood often, and lie to him about it. Robin ignores the fact that the way I look at Guy cannot possibly be a complete lie. They both want to believe that I am who they imagine me to be – desperately want it. And truthfully, I cannot tell any longer which I really am.

Unless maybe I am neither. Perhaps I am just me – Marian, the Nightwatchman. See, even before they created their ideas of me, I created two separate identities for myself. It seems I am not content being just one person. Maybe it is my fault – maybe I drew myself into this, wanting the excitement.

But Robin, at least, can see that what he wants me to be is not someone I ever will be. He pretends, for his own sake that it is not true; and I pretend for his sake. We pretend like the dreams we had before weren't destroyed when he left, like someday our fairy tale will become reality. He knows it is not possible, but it is his last hope and he cannot let it go. And I cannot take it from him.

Guy is not so perceptive. I believe he truly hopes that I will someday be the person he has imagined me to be. He is aware that it is not who I am now, but still he has hope. It is beyond my comprehension. Surely, any man would have given up hope long ago when confronted with reality! But he is waiting still, for the day when I will realize I truly love him and not Robin. Maybe he is foolish, but I have to say that it takes more strength to keep hoping when faced with reality – and it is a strength Robin does not have. Nor do I.

And none of us can know how this is going to end. But truly, I can see only one way it can end. One of us must die. Guy will never give up hope. Robin will never admit that his hopes were misplaced. I will never have the strength to leave them both behind. Any way it ends now will end badly. I can only hope that I am not here for it.

I can only hope.